No bail for Maltese, Italian nabbed with 5kg cocaine valued at €250,000

Cocaine seized by police on Friday evening had an estimated street value of around €250,000

Two men have been remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to possession of around 5 kg of cocaine, denoting it was not for their personal use.

The two were arrested by the police’s drug squad on Friday after they were found in the possession of the substance.

Police said the two men, 44-year-old Maltese national Walter Baldacchino and 49-year-old Italian national Claudio Castano from Calabria, were being observed by the drug squad over suspicions of trafficking.

Castagno was also charged with money laundering.

On Friday evening, the two were intercepted in St Paul’s Bay, and arrested.

The Maltese man was found to be carrying 3 kg of the substance, while another 2 kg were found inside the Italian’s car together with a large amount of cash.

The street value of the seized substance is estimated to reach around €250,000.

Magistrate Marseanne Farrugia was informed of the case and launched an inquiry.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Francesca Zarb, representing Baldacchino, requested bail for their client arguing on the presumption of innocence.

They also argued that itnesses testifying in front of an inquiry did not need to testify again during the compilation of evidence.

Inspector Alfred Mangion, who prosecuted, argued against bail due to the crimes’ seriousness. He also said witnesses still had to be heard, with the investigation still ongoing.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia denied bail.